Friday, November 13, 2009

Cheryl, the Slow Learner, Finally Finds Her Passion

Ah, so we come to the end of my story. After trying jewelry making, woodblock printing, carving Hittys, and let's not forget knitting and punch needle, I finally gave up my desperate search for "My Passion." I had tried so many things, yet nothing pulled at my heart strings. I finally settled that I would just be one of the "Jill-of-all-Crafts" and would bounce from project to project as the wind blew. I loved my life. I was content.

Life went on this way for at least a year. I dabbled in this and that. Of course, I would never voluntarily take on a sewing project because I just didn't like sewing. I KNEW this. It was a fact. I was very good at sewing. I had learned to sew at a young age and had sewn clothing, stuffed animals, quilt pieces, Waldorf dolls, Halloween costumes, and on and on. I just tolerated sewing. It was an ends to a mean. I would do it if I had too, but with no joy. It was simply just another skill to add to my list.

But then fall came and I really wanted a bear. I don't know why. I just knew that I REALLY wanted a teddy bear.

Okay, I finally relented...sewing would have to be my means to an end. I would buy a pattern and teach my girls and another homeschooling girl more sewing skills while they made bears with me. It would be a homeschool project. It would need to be a small bear so that the project didn't overwhelm them and so I could work with them on their hand-sewing skills. You see, I am very practical. I quite disliked sewing, but I still thought it was a useful skill for them all to have. Ah, yes, very practical. Being a small bear, it would also be done without having to spend too much time sewing, such a disagreeable thing to me.

Jennylovesbenny comes to the rescue! What an adorable pattern! How cute! I actually became a bit excited about the whole prospect--particularly about finishing it. The girls were thrilled and we sewed away. I hurried along to finish mine. I told myself it was because I wanted to be able to go through all the steps so that I could better help the girls. Perhaps. I hadn't made cotterpin joints before or sunk glass eyes--I told myself that I needed to make sure I worked out all the bugs. But really...I was having FUN!

And then it was was all done...there were no more bears to make besides assisting the girls. How could this be? There HAD to be more--I really wanted to sew more. I wanted to SEW! Unbelievable!

Well, I would just have to design my own pattern and make my own artist bear. So I did. Bailey was the result.
And then I designed and sewed another bear and yet another. I didn't want to stop! I just LOVED sewing teddy bears. I NEEDED to sew teddy bears. By Christmas I realized I was hooked and our house would be overtaken with bears if I didn't do something quick. Thus Bingle Bears was born and I was selling bears.

I suppose that's how life goes. When you finally stop searching for something, it sneaks up behind you and catches you by surprise. I had found "My Passion" by stopping the search for it. I ADORE making teddy bears. When I don't work on a bear for a day or two, life just doesn't feel right--I get edgy. As long as I'm thinking about, reading about, creating, and, yes, sewing teddy bears, all is right with the world. Do I like sewing teddy bears?--Oh, my gosh, yes, yes, and YES! I LOVE sewing bears. Do I like sewing in general now? Ummm...not so much. I guess some things may never change.



  1. Amazing!!!

    And I am still in awe that you have only been sewing bears a year! It looks like you've been doing it so much longer than that!

    It's strange how some things in life just sneak attack you!

    Out of curiosity, how big are your bears usually? I always thought they were smaller till I saw your new profile pic!
    And is there a gallery of them anywhere?

  2. I could see this end coming! LOL! Yep, you're hooked alright. It happens to the best of us. Watch out - you might be like me looking back over many years and many bears and still trying to figure out how to do it 'right'. ;D Enjoy and have fun! Teddy bear people are ALL right!

  3. Hello Cheryl, I went from soft sculpture bears and animals to jewellery, when I injured my wrist, I still keep my hand in occasionally though, I loved it so. I love your little Elephants I still get the Intercal newsletter and you were featured today that's how I found you!

  4. Heather, Thanks! I have a selection of bears that I've sold on Bear Pile--the link is on the right near the top. Most of my bears are between 10 and 17 inches (although I'm currently making a 19-20 inch bear).

    Ginger, Yes, I think it was inevitable! And I hope I will be just like you in the future and be able to look back at 25 fun years of bear-making!


  5. Funny how that bug gets under your skin Cheryl! I still "suffer" from it after 14 years...I just cannot imagine a life without bears. Some call it a compulsive addictive disorder, but whatever it is, it's not going anywhere, any day soon!! LOL!!
    Warmest hugs,

  6. Hello BluMoon, I'm glad you found me! Silly me, I didn't even know that Intercal had a newsletter--I'm signed up now though! And I'm off to check out your jewellery next.

    Sandi, I'm SO thankful that I have the compulsive addictive disorder called the "bear bug!" There are SO many wonderful people I've met who "suffer" from it.

    Heaps of Hugs,


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